News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Fatal Shooting in Caledon

Case Number: 06-OFD-062

TORONTO (13 April, 2006) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has determined that two Peel Regional Police Service (PRPS) officers are legally justified for fatally shooting Rajesh Owaan.

Mr. Owaan and Jagdeep Singh were both shot on January 16, 2006, after they were involved in a confrontation with PRPS officers inside a home in Caledon. Mr. Owaan died from his injuries and Mr. Singh was taken to hospital where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his leg.

During the course of the SIU probe, 19 police and civilian witnesses were interviewed. SIU forensic identification technicians measured and mapped the shooting scene and examined evidentiary items including clothing, biological samples, shell cases, firearms, ammunition and projectiles.

The SIU investigation revealed that on January 16th, members of the PRPS Tactical Team planned to execute a search warrant in relation to an abduction investigation. Due to the risk of the operation, paramedics accompanied the officers to the home. At around 1:30 a.m., officers used a battering ram and entered 14439 Bramalea Road, yelling, "Police, search warrant. Get down on the ground."

Two officers moved into the living room and saw Mr. Owaan facing them behind a couch. He was crouched down and moving toward a corner of the room. The officers saw Mr. Owaan was carrying a handgun and ordered him to show his hands and drop the gun. When he did not obey, both officers fired; one officer shot twice while the other officer shot once. Even though Mr. Owaan was struck, he did not drop his weapon. The officers believed Mr. Owaan was trying to clear a jammed spent shell casing from the gun. The officers again ordered him to drop the gun and when he refused, one officer fired six more shots. Mr. Owaan collapsed.

The paramedics waited at the front door while the officers quickly searched and cleared the rest of the home. Mr. Owaan's gun was moved and secured. Officers were moving some furniture for the paramedics when they saw movement under a blanket that was a couple of feet from Mr. Owaan. The police lifted the blanket and found Mr. Singh curled up on the floor. He had been shot in the back of the leg and through the heel of his foot.

Paramedics examined both men and found Mr. Owaan had no vital signs. Mr. Singh was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.

The investigation determined Mr. Owaan fired once at the officers before he was shot. The bullet from Mr. Owaan's handgun traveled through the ceiling of the living room. Investigators also determined the gun had malfunctioned, jamming the spent shell case and preventing the next shell in the chamber to be loaded and fired.

Director Cornish concluded, "This is a prime example of a situation where officers prepared for a dangerous entry into a residence and the danger materialized. The officers fired, reasonably fearing a real and present danger of serious bodily harm or death. In fact, the danger was far more real than the officers realized in that Mr. Owaan had fired a shot at the officers."

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342